Animal Law Week at HLS | David Carter, “Oppression in Food System”


SARAH RECKTENWALD: OK. Hi, everyone. Thank you all for coming. My name is Sarah. I’m with the Student
Animal Legal Defense Fund. I’m a member of the board. Thank you all for coming again. And we want to give
a special thank you to the Animal Legal Defense Fund
and the Animal Law and Policy Program for helping to
sponsor this event as part of Animal Law Week here at HLS. Tomorrow, I just
want to note, we also have Sharon Nunez coming
from Animal Equality. So to begin, I’m going to
introduce David Carter, who began his career in the
NFL as a defensive lineman for the Arizona
Cardinals in 2011. However, the sport began to
take a toll on his body and, one night in 2014, he
decided to make a switch to a 100% plant-based diet
after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. Since then, he has
made a name for himself as the 300-Pound
Vegan, and has used his platform to help promote
healthy plant-based dieting. Today, the former NFL player
is an animal rights activist, film producer, and
entrepreneur, and is here to talk about food
deserts and the benefits of a meatless diet. So please join me in
welcoming David Carter. [APPLAUSE] DAVID CARTER: Wow. Thank you. This is a pleasure. Oh, this is loud. It’s a pleasure
to be here today. Appreciate it. Thank you, Harvard
and Animal Law team for bringing me out here
and giving me the opportunity to share my story. So “Oppression in
the Food System” is the name of my presentation. And I’m going to let you
guys know how I got there. All right. So– does this thing work? OK. So I played for the teams– OK, so I played for Arizona
Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys, the
Jacksonville Jaguars, and I played for
all these teams. And let me tell you– let me go
back a little bit and tell you, I started eating meat
like everybody else. My family owned a
barbecue restaurant in Los Angeles, California
on Crenshaw and Adams, and the name of the place
was called Leo’s Barbecue. And growing up in a
barbecue restaurant is pretty much like growing
up in a butcher shop. It’s the closest thing
you can get to it. You hocking– you know,
you’re chopping up pigs and ribs and
all that stuff, you know, grinding up
meat and all– it’s crazy. Not to mention we had
a farm in the South, where our grandparents had– or our aunt had– and we used
to plant fruits and vegetables and all that stuff. But we were killing
chickens and plucking feathers and all that stuff. So it was real. I grew up in a meat household. At one point, I was like, yo,
I’m allergic to vegetables. Just give me the steak,
give me the chicken. That’s what it is. And it worked, you know? And it got me to where I was–
where I ended up getting– my brother and I– let me go back and tell you
about my little brother, Chris Carter. He’s a football player, as well. We were on the same
team growing up. We both were like that,
that same mindset. Like, vegetables, ugh. Right? That’s what we were. And we ate meat. We were doing all that. And it worked for us. We got to where we
were supposed to be. We were the star players
on our high school team. We both got scholarships. I had 19 scholarships. My brother had 22 scholarships. He went to Fresno. I went to UCLA. AUDIENCE: Woo. DAVID CARTER: What? Right? 8-Clap, all that. [LAUGHTER] And it worked out for–
it worked out for us. You know, we were full ride
scholarship, all that stuff. I was 300 pounds, but– well,
250 when I was in college, 300 by the time I
got to the NFL– 305. And so, like I said,
it worked for me. I got to the league,
it’s all good. All fine and dandy. But I started suffering from– I started suffering from
tendinitis really bad, to the point where it felt
like somebody was taking a bat to my elbows, or
a knife in my elbows and just twisting it
around just a little bit, just to give you a visual
of what kind of pain I was dealing with. And it was hard for
me to do push-ups. It was hard for me to do
bench press or do my job. It was hindering my play. I couldn’t lock my
arms out and go up against the guy I was going
against without taking the pain pills that were being issued
to me by the team, which were a long list of pain
killers, anti-inflammatories. Not to mention I was on– I had high blood pressure
at the age of 23, and actually in college, too. So I was like, man,
something’s got to change. So yeah, I was dealing
with muscle fatigue, early-onset arthritis, shooting
pain, numbness, high blood pressure, tendinitis. I had all that at
such an early age. And I considered them to be my
old man illnesses, you know? That’s what I was dealing with. I’m like, what the hell? I’m 23 years old. I’m in the NFL. I’m the one person–
it’s literally, like, 0.14% of
the people that go to the NFL– or
that play football actually make it into the NFL. And I’m dealing with all
these old man illnesses? What the hell is
going on, right? [LAUGHTER] So I was like, nah,
something’s got to change. I’m going to go back. So I watched the documentary
Forks Over Knives. That’s on Netflix. My ex-wife at the time– she was my wife at
the time, ex-wife now. [LAUGHTER] But it was movie night. It was February 13, the
day before Valentine’s Day. And she tricked me and
put on Forks Over Knives. [LAUGHTER] And I was literally drinking a
milkshake at the time, right? And I’m sitting there drinking
a milkshake like, what the hell am I watching right now? You know what I’m saying? What is this? And then there was a part in
the documentary where they say– they go– where they tell
you how milk and dairy products, or animal
products period, actually are toxic to the
body– milk specifically– are toxic to the body. And the body’s
defense mechanism is to leach calcium from
the bones to neutralize the acidity in the blood. And that’s why we have–
we live in America. We drink the most milk, but
we suffer from the highest rates of osteoporosis. That doesn’t even make sense. Isn’t milk supposed to be good
for the body or have vitamin– you know, calcium and
all this junk in it? But we’re suffering from the
highest rates of osteoporosis? Something doesn’t add up. And playing football, you’re
clashing up against people all day every day. You’re bones better be strong
as hell when you’re going up against a 300-pound,
330-pound dude, and he’s running
full force at you. You’d better hold up. So at that point– and not to mention inflammation. The dairy causes inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s– it’s the immune system. It’s trying to– you
know, that’s your body’s– it’s a defense
mechanism, inflammation, to let you know what’s going on. And tendinitis, when
you break it down, tendon means joint and -itis
is Latin for inflammation. So inflammation of the joints. If you take sand and put
it in the door joint, and you’re moving
it around, it is going to be hard for your
joint to work properly. And I’m going to
get into that later. So animal products
send your body into an instant state
of inflammation. So you drink milk
or you eat meat, and it sends your body into an
instant state of inflammation for about three to four hours. And then you eat again three or
four hours, you’re eating meat or you’re eating
cheese or dairy, you send your body into
another inflammation rush. And then you’re in this–
you keep eating meat all day, which we do today in America. We eat meat for
breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and midnight
snack, or dairy or something like that– ice cream before we go to sleep. We’re in a constant state
of inflammation, right? So just quick facts. Just letting you
know about that. So anyways, go back
to the documentary. So I was like, man,
so I’m causing– uh-oh. I’m causing all of
my old man illnesses. I’m killing myself. I’m putting myself on
all these medications, these anti-inflammatories, high
blood pressure medications, at 23 years old,
these painkillers– Celebrex. Celebrex– they came
out with something saying that Celebrex causes
ulcers and a long list– you know how all
these medications have a long list of side
effects, like death and all that stuff, right? [LAUGHTER] So I was like, man,
something’s got to change. I was drinking a milkshake. I remember I told
you I was drinking a milkshake while
watching this documentary. I was like, man, forget this. I didn’t use “forget.” I used another word. I poured it down– [LAUGHTER] –poured that down the sink. And my wife– she’s
looking at me. She’s like, what are you doing? And I was like, man,
forget this, man. I’m going vegan. I poured everything out. I poured it down the sink. I went to the refrigerator. And she’s like, this
man is for real. What is he doing? And I emptied out all the meat. I had lamb chops, steak,
chicken, whatever, you know? It was all in there. Eggs. There was that one point, just
before I was drinking eggs, because that’s what my
weight coach told me– I didn’t– I was like,
oh, it worked for Arnold, so let me see if
it works for me. Nah, it didn’t work. So anyway, I threw all that
down and put it in the trash. And then she was like,
you’re serious about this? Yeah, I said, I’m
going to vegan tonight. I’m about to make a
bean burger right now. I’m hungry. So I made a bean burger. And the way I did it was– because I was like, I don’t want
to be bored going into this, right? And I was like,
so I’m just going to convert my current
menu, what I eat now, which is hamburgers, tacos,
taquitos, nachos, burritos, all of these things, right? You know, whatever. And hamburgers and
all of that stuff. So I just took the meat out
and I made lentil tacos. Or I put the– instead
of cheese, regular– not regular cheese, but cow
cheese, I used cashew cheese. And I just started
switching things out and making these little bit
of alterations in my meal plan. And it worked out for me. But I realized, it’s like– I mean, I felt good. I felt great. I was sleeping better
within the first month. I was 305 when I started. At the first month, I
lost– or month and a half– I lost 40 pounds, 45 pounds. And I wasn’t even trying to. I told you I was eating burgers,
nachos, taquitos, pizza, all of this stuff,
every day, right? And I felt great. I was stronger. My bench press– I was
only doing 315 for five, which wasn’t a lot
for me at the time– for a set of five. And then I went vegan
and I lost weight. And I was like, man, I’m 265. But then I would go
and hit the bench, and I would be 465 pounds
on the bench press. I’m like, shit, I’m good. [LAUGHTER] I’m good. I’m swole right now. So that’s what it was. And so I was like,
well, actually, I need to figure out how to
put this weight back on. I need to figure out how
to get this weight back on. So I was looking and there’s
a team called PlantBuilt Team and all these cats. And I was like,
look at these dudes. They swole. They not exactly the
biggest dudes in the world, but they swole. And then you see
Patrik Baboumian, who’s the dude
from Germany, who’s the strongest man in Germany. This dude’s 300 pounds. This man is the strongest man
in Germany and he’s vegan. Isn’t he the strongest
man in the world now or something like that? Strongest man in the world. You got Mr. Galaxy or
whatever, he’s vegan now. And all these dudes are swole. So I was like, man, if they
could do it, I can do it. They’re not exactly 300
pounds, but if they can get to 295 and they not 6’5″, 6’6″,
shit, I can do this right now. So I figured out how to do it. I reached out to
these dietitians. I reached out to doctors
and all of these guys and picked their brains and put
a meal plan together and all that stuff. And I was like, OK. So I’ve got to get
8,000 calories a day– 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day. So that’s what I did, bro. 8,000 to 10,000 calories a day. [LAUGHTER] And I called it
Operation Weight Gain. [LAUGHTER] And I had my Vitamix. Shout out to Vitamix. It saved my life. And so I would put
everything in the Vitamix– beans and– let me tell you. I’m going to tell
you about the beans. All right. So I would make fruit smoothies. I would put
strawberries, bananas. There was one point I was
eating 25 to 50 bananas a day, literally. Because I would put
them in the smoothies, I would put them in pancakes. I would do whatever. There’s, like, 150
calories per banana and about 20 or 10 carbs– I forget what it is now. It’s been a while. But the carbohydrates
in each banana. And I would put four
bananas in a smoothie. I would put a can of
cannellini beans in there. That is 300 calories, 40
grams of carbohydrates in– I forget exactly, 45
grams of protein per can. So I’d put that in there. And I would put amaranth,
I would put hemp protein, I would put brown rice–
cooked brown rice in there. And I would make
my own smoothies. And I was doing that. And that thing would be,
like, 1,000 calories, 1,500-calorie smoothie. And I would just
chunk that down. And so I was eating every hour
and a half, every two hours, and just doing that. Wake up in the
middle of the night sometimes, because when
you’re sleeping at night, you sleep for eight hours. Essentially, you’re fasting. So I would get up and I
would drink a smoothie and I’d go right back to sleep. [LAUGHTER] All right? And I put the weight on. I put on mad weight. And I got up to 317 pounds. 320 pounds was the heaviest
I was as a defensive lineman playing in the NFL at nose
tackle, which is the biggest position on the D-line. Biggest position on
the field, as a vegan. So that’s how that went down. So another thing that I
was going to talk about. This, right? Another reason why
I went plant-based is the average age of
death for football players is 56 years of age, according
to a NIOSH study done in collaboration with the NFL. And that’s the average age. So that means cats are
dying at a way younger age. And the reason why that
happens is because– I’m going to go back. I don’t want to show you that. But the reason why
that happens is because when you’re on the field
and you’re playing football, you’re out there running four
hours a day with pads on. And I was in Arizona. It was 120 degrees. We got pads on. I’m losing 15 pounds a day
in water weight every day. And then I would
go lift weights. That’s what we’re doing. And so in real life, I
was doing it because I’m getting paid to do that. There was no way in hell
I’m going to do that after I retire playing in the NFL. So I’m still– and what
the players eat is– it’ll be like, for example,
two days before the game, they’ll give us a box
of Church’s chicken. And three piece, a
biscuit, and some gravy. And it’s like, that’s
not a good meal. How are you giving these
professional top-tier athletes fried chicken before the game? That don’t make no damn sense. So this is how players
are taught how to eat. This is how players– because we’re like, oh, if
the NFL thinks it’s straight, then we’re– they
got nutritionists. It’s all good. It’s great. No. So players eat– after practice,
I remember me and my boy, we would go to In-and-Out. We thought we were
eating healthy. Let’s go to In-and-Out and
get four double-doubles, bro. It’s In-and-Out. It’s not as bad as Jack
in the Box or whatever. And the French
fries are healthier. Come on, now. [LAUGHTER] That was our mindset. And I was like,
yeah, I’m hungry. Let me get five double-doubles. Let’s do it. That was how we– and
that’s how we did it. And we would replenish
ourselves after a workout. But after you were
done and you retire, that same way of eating– we adopt a sedentary
lifestyle, but we continue that same way of eating. And that’s why
players, when they’re done, they retire, they blow
up to like 300 pounds, 340– a linebacker, 300
pounds, 340 pounds. I had a boy– my boy, he was on the team
with me at the Cardinals. He was 33 years old. He wasn’t even big. He had abs and everything. But there’s a thing
called skinny fat, where you don’t eat healthy
because you are what you eat. You don’t eat healthy, but
you have a higher metabolism or you work out a lot,
and you look good, but your insides
are all jacked up because you’ve got all
these hidden dangers that you don’t even know
about because you’re just eating whatever. This man passed away. I was on stage speaking
in California at Cal State Northridge on the same topic. And my boy texted me–
it was the three of us. We used to hang out all
the time after practice. It was the three of us. He texted me while
I was on stage. Hey, bro, he passed
away, bro, in his sleep. He was living in the
Bahamas with his wife and his two children,
his two little babies. Passed away, a massive
heart attack in his sleep. But this is not a
rare occurrence. This is all the time
this stuff is happening. And it’s not just happening
to football players. It’s happening to the
general population, as well. The average age of
death is lower than what it should– it’s like, come on. The average age of death
for a general population is, like, 60. That’s crazy. And people are dying
of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity. All of these things, these are
on the top 10 list of killers. Why are the top
10 list of killers riddled with food-related
illnesses and nobody knows anything about
how to eat better? And that’s because of this slide
that I’ve been holding back from y’all for the
last 10 minutes. [LAUGHTER] And so the doctors go to
school for the better part of 10 years. And they go to school to learn
how to heal people and learn how to make us better. Oh, you’re sick? Oh, OK, this is
what you got to do. But they just hand
you medication. You know that when you go in
for a doctor’s appointment, and by law, they can only
spend 15 minutes with you, you can’t diagnose
anybody in 15 minutes. What the hell? What you’re going to do? Just put a stethoscope
to my chest and you’re going to
know the whole problem with my whole body? No. Wrong. What are you doing? You’re just selling– I’m going to get
into that later. [LAUGHTER] So if doctors don’t know
how to make us better– when you ask a
doctor, they’ll just tell you– you say, what
do I do to get healthier? How can I get rid
of this diabetes? How can I lose weight? Eat cleaner. How vague is that? What? Eat cleaner? And then when you
look at the doctor, the doctor don’t look like
nothing his damn self, right? [LAUGHTER] So you can’t take
advice from him or her, whoever the doctor is. So you have to be careful. That’s why you can go– I go in the doctor. I have debates with
doctors all the time. They be trying to
get me– oh, people are living longer
because of medicine and pharmaceutical medicine. OK, they’re living longer. What’s the quality of
their life when they’re taking these pills all
day that are causing them to take other pills? And the average person spends
$8,000 a year on medication. So they’re spending
all that money on that. And then they feel like
shit in the morning. And before they
get up out the bed, they got to take their pills
just to get started on the day. Otherwise, they going
to die, or they’re stuck on this medication
their entire life. They have to take
it every single day because their doctor says so. Now they got a medication
where you can’t eat green vegetables with it. What kind of shit– what is that? [LAUGHTER] So it’s a business. It’s a corporation. We have to take that
into consideration. I’m going to definitely
getting into that later on in the speech and let
you guys know what’s going on. And this is what I’m
talking about right here. This is the CDC’s top
10 list of killers. You can see cancer, chronic
lower respiratory disease– that’s inflammation
in the lungs. That’s considered food-related,
’cause inflammation, I told you, animal products send
your body into a constant state of inflammation. You have strokes. Alzheimer’s is also–
they’re doing studies to show that Alzheimer’s is
inflammation in the brain. And the brain is
part of the body. If it’s inflamed, you know? Diabetes is caused
by saturated fat. And that number is a lot
higher now because this is a study from 2015. Diabetes is number
two or three now. So diabetes is higher. Diabetes is also the number
one killer in Mexico. And I mean, you can
just go down the list. And this is the top 10
killers in the world, but in the United
States it’s the same. So when we’re talking about
disease, like I told you guys earlier, I like
to hyphenate words because it defines them. Disease, like heart disease
or inflammation of the joints, tendinitis, all of that. Heart disease. So you have to take those
words and hyphenate it. If your body can’t– your
heart is just a muscle. Your heart is just a muscle. And say, for example, I put a
five-pound weight in my hand and I’m going like
this all the time. Go like this, five-pound weight. Eventually, and I don’t
care how strong you are, that muscle’s
going to get tired. It’s going to wear out. With heart disease,
it’s like cholesterol. The only place you
can find cholesterol is in animal products. Cholesterol is what
blocks your arteries. It blocks your
neurological arteries going to the brain,
which causes stroke. So going back to the heart. So the cholesterol goes to the
arteries, blocks the arteries. And your heart’s
pumping and has to work extra hard to pump blood
through the rest of your body. And since it’s
working extra hard to pump blood through
the rest of your body, your heart can’t
function with ease. Hence, the term heart dis-ease. That’s why, when fat
surrounds the heart– saturated fat
surrounds the heart, and it’s restricting your heart
like a bunch of rubber bands, your heart can’t pump blood
to the rest of your body with ease. Hence the term, heart disease. And that goes for every
part of your body. If your body can’t
function properly, then you have a disease. And that’s your
body– you have pain, you have whatever the issue is. And that’s when you
have a heart attack, because your heart’s
just tired and it just goes kaput and dies. It’s just a muscle. And the fat you eat
is the fat you wear. This statement is so true. It’s so loaded. So when they do
autopsies on people, or when they do liposuction on
people, they could take the fat and put it under a microscope. And they can see
what kind of animal you’ve been eating–
if you’ve been eating beef, pork, chicken. Because the animal
fat, when you eat it, it doesn’t break down
properly because we don’t have the enzymes
and the stomach acid to break it down properly. So it goes right
here, wherever it– where you don’t want it to be. And that’s where it goes. So you are what you eat. So they can see
if you eat mainly beef, pork, chicken, whatever. So the fat you eat literally
is the fat that you’re wearing. Because you’re taking the
fat from another animal and you’re putting it
into your body. When you cook a steak– or your
doctor says, eat lean meat. Eat lean chicken,
whatever, eat lean beef. That’s a bunch of BS. You can chop all of the fat off. There’s still fat on the
inside that’s marbled in there. You cook it, the fat’s dripping
off, this, that, and the other. You’re taking the fat
of another living animal and making it a part of you. Do you guys want that
fat in your body? Do you want that to
be a part of you? Hell, no. Everybody’s taking
weight loss pills. You got these New
Year’s resolutions that nobody’s really
meeting because they’re adding this shit right back
into their bodies again. It’s counterproductive. Your diet needs to be like
residual income, and it’s not. People are adding things
into their body that is hindering their progress. And what they want to look
like, how they want to feel, how long they want to live,
that’s just what it is. This is a heart– this is the slide– I was telling you
about heart disease. When you eat the stuff,
it surrounds your heart. It makes it hard for
your heart to pump. Those arteries get clogged
up, and then the cholesterol makes it hard for your heart
to pump blood to the rest of your body with ease. Heart disease. I’m not a doctor. Y’all can look it
up for yourself. [LAUGHTER] Erectile dysfunction. Pew. Right. [LAUGHTER] It’s real. So let me tell you
why, all right? So the smallest
artery in the human– I just told you
about cholesterol, and the arteries being
blocked by cholesterol. The smallest artery
in the human body is the one going to your
reproductive organs. So when do people
start getting– when people are taking these
blue pills left and right. And some of y’all are probably
taking them in this room right now. [LAUGHTER] I’m just keeping it real. We talk about it like the blue– so the cholesterol’s blocked
and it blocks the blood from– blocking that
small– the smallest artery in the
human body is going to your reproductive organs. It’s stopping the blood from
flowing there and getting shit flowing, getting shit– doing your thing. So when you look at
Viagra and Cialis, what these medicines are and
how they came to the market, it explains everything. These medicines, or these
drugs, are vasodilators. And what a
vasodilator does is it expands the artery, allowing
blood to flow through to the right places. And it was originally started as
a heart medication for hearts, as a replacement for
stints and stuff like that, get the blood flowing. And that’s why they
recommend Viagra and Cialis for people
who have heart issues and things like that. So when they started
it, it was like, oh, this is a great
heart medication that we have on the market. And they were doing
the test trials and they were handing out
pills to all the guys. And they were doing it. And all of a sudden,
these guys stand up. They walking around. They just got a– you know, they got wood. And they’re like, oh,
this is great, salesmen. You can sell this. Sex sells. And so that’s what happened. And the same thing
goes for women. The smallest artery
for the human body is the one going to your
reproductive organs. That’s why they’re coming out
with these Viagra for women now, because all it’s doing
is opening up the blood flow right back to
your ovaries and to all your whole situation. And that’s just what it is. So we have to take that
into consideration. You can avoid
erectile dysfunction by eliminating cholesterol
animal products from your body, from your meals,
from what you eat. So this is another thing. These are hot dogs, cigarettes. According to the World
Health Organization, the WHO, processed meats
are considered a class 1 carcinogen, right up
there with cigarettes. Three hot dogs is
equivalent to smoking a whole pack of cigarettes. And people are out here giving
hot dogs to their babies because they don’t
have time to cook. And especially in underserved
areas where I’m from. You don’t have many options. Hot dogs are your
number one go-to. I can’t even count how
many hot dogs I ate. It was crazy. And now that I
know what they are, I’m like, ugh, let
me purge my body. I’m going to go vegan. So that’s what happens. And we have to be aware of that. And these companies are like– they’re not going
to tell you that. They’re not going to tell you
that their product that they’re selling you is a
class 1 carcinogen. That’s not good
business for them. Yeah. Here we go. And then we talk about diabetes. So I was telling
you about diabetes. In my community,
in my culture, we consider– we refer to
diabetes as the Sugars. But diabetes isn’t
caused by sugar. I don’t know how many med
students we have in here. But diabetes has been proven
to be caused by saturated fat. Saturated fat is only
found in animals. When you drop a chicken in a
pot and the fat rises to the top and you could scrape the fat
off the top– it hardens– that’s what saturated fat is. Or oils that harden in room
temperature, hydrogenated oils that harden at room temperature,
like Crisco, which is conveniently found in the hood. In the inner city
areas, for y’all who don’t know what the hood is. All right. [LAUGHTER] Diabetes goes right
to your pancreas. Diabetes goes right
down to your pancreas where your beta
cells are stored. And your beta cells are
what create insulin. That saturated fat goes
right down to the pancreas and goes down to the beta cells. Like a heat-seeking
missile, it surrounds them and chokes them out, preventing
them from making insulin. And that’s when you become
hypertensive or diabetic– not hypertensive. Hyperglycemic. Whatever. You become diabetic. UCLA just released a study
showing that 50% of California is pre-diabetic and
they don’t even know it. Because we refer to it
as miscommunication, miseducation on what it is
and what the disease is, and why your body’s not
functioning with ease. It’s like a parallel–
it’s like, oh, we’re going to
blame it on sugar. We’re going to coin
this as the Sugars. When your blood
sugar level rises up, then you have diabetes. But it’s not your
blood sugar level, it’s your insulin levels being
pushed down because you’re eating saturated fat. So it’s a misdirection
type deal. So like I said,
I’m not a doctor. But y’all can look that up. So what is food oppression? Food oppression is
basically when everybody’s not getting the same thing. We’re getting
different food than– this community is
getting different food than this community. And where does it stem from? So you guys can look. “The structural
perpetuation of race, class based health crisis.” Y’all can read that
for yourselves. This is Harvard. [LAUGHTER] Government federal food
policies, all of that stuff. So a lot of people don’t know
where our food system comes from, or where food– I’m going to get
into that later. But we have this
thing– and we see– are you all familiar with
food deserts or food swamps? I love Harvard. All right. You’re familiar with food
deserts and food swamps. But when you look at the word
desert, what is a desert? When you think of
desert, you think of tumbleweeds, cacti, dry
land, dirt, all of that stuff. But you don’t think of
communities, buildings, and all that stuff. That’s not a desert. These are systematically
underserved areas that have been, like I
said, coined– and we claim, oh, where did these
food deserts come from? They’re so unfortunate. They have a birthing place. They have somewhere
where they came from. And these are
geographically placed. Somebody set this up. Somebody said, we’re not
going to put grocery stores in this community, but
this community over here, we’re going to put a whole
bunch of grocery stores because they need
to eat healthy. But they don’t need
anything over here. These are just people,
they’re just working. They’re not doing nothing. That’s what that is. And these food swamps. How did it turn
into a food swamp? We can get food there. A truck can go there. If a truck can go there,
why is there no food there? And so a lot of people don’t
know that our food system was created from Jim Crow laws. Everybody familiar with
Jim Crow law in this room? Sort of? All right. So Jim Crow law is the whole
thing where it was like, you know, whites only restrooms,
whites only restaurants. No blacks, Mexicans, Indians, or
dogs allowed in the restaurant. Straight up, that’s
what it was, right? And it was segregation
in America. That’s how they did it. And here goes a
picture right here. And they came up with these
things called the zoning laws. They’re called zoning laws
now, but originally, they were called negro
zoning laws in 1910. It started in Baltimore around
John Hopkins University. And that’s where the
practice came up. And it’s basically
separating resources, and determining how
resources are allocated from community to community. And then all the studies
show that the areas with unhealthy food that are
subject to these unhealthy food and these food deserts, or
food swamps, what they’re coining it, really,
when it’s just a systematically underserved
community or underserved area. That’s what they
need to call it. These areas are– the levels
of diabetes and health issues and medication
and all of that stuff are sky high in
those communities. Because when you eat what
you have available to you, especially if you don’t
have a car or something– you live in New York. Most of the population in
New York doesn’t have a car. So you got to take the
bus to the grocery store. And then, since
the grocery store is five miles away, three
miles away, and in New York, that’s a journey. You go onto the train or you
go to get back on the bus, you’re only allowed two
grocery bags on the bus. So you’re traveling an hour and
a half to the grocery store, you do your shopping
for your family, you get back on the bus. You can only take
two bags on the bus. They’re not going to let you on. That’s a setup, right? How am I supposed
to feed my family with two bags of groceries? You know? I’ve got to go back again
to the grocery store and get two more
bags of groceries? Anyways, moving on. So negro zoning laws. So like I said, originally,
our food system was called negro zoning law,
and that’s what they used to determine
how– all right, we’re going to put the
communities of color over here. We’re going to separate it
with these industrial buildings right here. And then we’re going to have
the more affluent communities over here. And we’re going to put healthy
foods and all that stuff over there. We want to keep
the character up. These are actual
terms that they used. We want to keep the character
up in these communities. And then, eh, eh. Then that’s what it was. And in 1910, it was
negro zoning laws. And in 1917, they deemed
it unconstitutional because the title was racist. So we’re changing it
to racial zoning laws. Right? So we’re changing it
to racial zoning laws. And then in 1930, they
deemed it unconstitutional again because it was– still, they like, oh,
it’s still a racist title. But they never changed anything
about the actual law in itself and how it was
structured, relocated the resources, the allocation of
resources between communities. It was just like, we’re
just going to rebrand it and, you know, we’re
going to change the name. And then this part right
here is a little problematic right here, where it says
blacks, Asians, Native Americans, indigenous people. We’re going to take
that out and put– we’re going to put
blight right there. And blight means infestation,
mildew, and mold. So they’re referring
to people of color as infestation,
mildew, and mold. Now, I’m not– you know, hey. You guys can look this up in
any real estate book, in any– and there’s proof there. I mean, it’s all there. I mean, you can look at this. It’s the history of our country. That’s just what it is. And this is where we are now. And we got to make
some changes because we can’t keep it up like this. So now we have to
delve deeper into this because there’s layers to this. There’s layers to this. So we’re talking
about targeting– the targeted marketing. So there’s a Yale
Rudd study that– all of these companies,
they’re targeting to the youth because they consider the
youth to be trendsetters, the youth of color to be
trendsetters, because we dance and we got the
clothes, and we’re playing sports and football,
and all these things. And we’re making all the
music, all that stuff. So they’re like,
they’re trendsetters and everybody’s following them. Now you guys– I’m
not sure if there are business people in here. Business corporations
are hunting down culture to sell their product. They’re trying to– everything
is about culture now. You guys see it. You’re not blind. Y’all are smart. It’s Harvard. And they consider us to be
tremendous brand ambassadors. For example, the “Got Milk?” And they’ll put
Nellie or whoever, and they’ll have him with a milk
mustache on, when 70% to 100% of people of color are
lactose intolerant. That don’t even make
any sense, right? And then we have– they exploit
celebrities of color. That’s why I’m talking
about targeted marketing, and then the zoning laws. And they use zoning laws. Because in the fast food
restaurants– that’s another thing, there are tiers. They break it down into tiers. Tier 1, 2, 3, and 4. Tier 1 would be the
more affluent areas, like this Harvard area,
where you guys don’t have any fast food restaurants. I didn’t see no McDonald’s
or no Taco Bells or anything like that around here. There’s zero, right? But then you have
tier 2, and there’ll be one or two McDonald’s there. You have tier 3. There’ll be five or six. And then you have
tier 4, which would be your urban community, like
South Central, where I’m from. And there’ll be Taco
Bell, Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway. And this is one street corner. And it’s like that throughout
the entire community. And I implore you
guys to hop in the car and take a drive to your nearest
hood or your nearest ghetto and look for yourself. You don’t need me to tell you. You can see this
with your own eyes. And count how many
grocery stores. I was living in
Beverly Hills last year and living right next
to the Beverly Center. And I would walk out my
house, walk to the right, Trader Joe’s, five-minute walk. Walk to the left, Trader
Joe’s– totally different Trader Joe’s to the left, five minutes. And I’m like, what the hell? Can we take one of these
Trader Joe’s and put it in this community right here? Because they need fresh
fruits and vegetables, too, at a discount price. Trader Joe’s got
the best prices. But you don’t see
them in the areas where people need those prices. Because what they’re
doing is they’re pricing people into
the unhealthy foods and pricing us out
of the healthy foods. That’s why a vegetable costs
more than a damn burger. But a burger is an animal’s
life, somebody’s life. And the process that it takes– it takes more water to make
a burger, it takes more time. It takes resources–
all of that– to make a burger. But it costs less
than a cucumber? It costs less than
an organic cucumber? What the hell? Come on now. We’ve got to put these together
and see what’s going on, and why it’s happening. And here goes– this is
back to the marketing. You have the general
marketing that’s right here, and this is just
regular marketing, what they do for the regular people. We’re not talking to nobody. But then this is what
targeted marketing is. You have the people
of color in there. You got them dancing
and they’re singing. And like, Church’s
Chicken commercial, they have the lady– or the Popeyes, (SINGING) love
that chicken from Popeye’s. You got a gospel choir
behind her, using religion. And I’m like, you
guys ain’t got no– y’all ain’t holding
nothing back. Y’all put God into this? Jesus? Come on now. [LAUGHTER] And that’s the Yale
Rudd study that I was telling you about earlier. It’s not Yale– it was
originally Yale Rudd, but now it’s the
UConn Rudd study. And they use it to– and in there, it explains
how these fast food companies and this Pepsi and Pepsi
Cola– all these, whatever, sugary drink companies, they
released a study in 2015 stating that 85% of their
net profit from the year 2015 to the year 2020 is going to
come from marketing to youth of color. So it’s like, goddamn. That is a lot– that’s like,
all of your income– everything is coming from marketing
to youth of color. Then you look at television– or
you look at television networks like BET or Telemundo. 86% of their
commercials are fast food commercials, or
Pfizer, or these kind of drug companies like that. They’re marketing to
these demographics. But when you turn to HGTV or
whatever, these commercials, they’re targeted. They’re sending–
they’re reaching out to this demographic so they
can sell their product. Because where are all their
brick and mortar stores? In urban communities. They’re not here at Harvard. They’re in these
urban communities. And then this is McDonald’s. This is how deep they go. So McDonald’s, for
example, they sponsor every single black event
that you can think of. They sponsor all the HBCUs,
they sponsor the BET Awards, they sponsor– what else? Basketball, all that
basketball stuff. And they have websites
that are specifically targeting each demographic. “My inspiration.” Really? Meet [SPANISH]. 365Black This is crazy. And on the website,
every day, they put a different
celebrity of color on there talking about
how this is great. On the 365Black one,
they had Kief Sweat– I don’t know if y’all
know who Kief Sweat is. He was on there talking
about, chicken nuggets are the best thing that
ever happened to me. I’m like, no they’re not. Get out of here
with that mess, man. Come on now. And this is what I’m saying. They’re sponsoring
the BET events. Like I said, no holds barred. They’re doing gospel events. It’s crazy. So we have to– you have to see what’s going on. It can’t be out of
sight, out of mind. You have to see the differences. Because they’re targeting you– they’re hitting you with
different information. They’re not going after y’all
because we’re shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s. We’re going to
the grocery store. It’s right down the street. I’m not going to eat McDonald’s. It’s not even over here. I don’t want to drive down
to that area over there. Yeah. And that’s what I was telling
you about the Yale Rudd study, and then there’s television
and all that stuff. 86% of the commercials on
Spanish-speaking television are fast food commercials
and all of these things. So now that I’ve
shared with you, I’m going to move on past that. And this is a
study by Dr. Milton Mills of Physicians Committee
for Responsible Medicine. And he’s a black doctor
and he did the study. And this shows that 75%
to 100% of people of color are lactose intolerant. Because most of the people in
this world can’t really drink milk. That’s why Lactaid milk
is such a big seller. And now almond
milk and plant milk is just wiping them out
and taking over everything because everybody is
lactose intolerant. And when you look at
this list, though, the lighter you get on
the scale, the skin color, it gets to East Asian, 90%
to 100% lactose intolerant. Indigenous peoples, 80% to 100%. Central Asian, 80%. African Americans, 75%. But then when you go
to Italian, 20%-70%. French, 17% lactose intolerant. Finnish, 17%. British UK, 5%
lactose intolerant. And you see how it’s like– you see what’s going on with
the study and where it’s going. And it’s like, when you see the
introduction of the Milk Law– I’m not sure if you guys are
familiar with the Milk Law. They used that when
the country was– we’re in the war
and they’re like, oh, we’re too sick to fight. We need to beef up. We need to get big and strong. So what they did was they
introduced the Milk Law. And that was in
Baltimore, as well. But the way that
they introduced it was into communities of color. But communities of color are
70% to 100% lactose intolerant. So that’s like chemical warfare
and poisoning that community, and getting them big and fat. And it’s like, you
didn’t need to use milk. They do the same thing overseas
in Europe and they use beer. Why don’t we do that? I would love that. You know what I’m saying? And it’s just the same– they did it for
the same reasons. We need to bulk up. We need to get fit. And so they used beer
because of the carbohydrates and the calories that it has. And it gets what it
needs to be done. And they’re serving it to kids. And beer is way
better than milk. [LAUGHTER] And so leading cause
of deaths in Mexico are all food-related illnesses. And like I said, the number– heart disease is number
one, and then diabetes is following suit. And it’s changing. Everything is
changing so rapidly. So it’s crazy. So now, when you look
at the history of Mexico and the Americas, you have
to look at colonization and how that took place, right? Before Christopher Columbus
came to the Americas, there were no cows, no pigs, no
chickens here in the Americas. So that means there was no eggs. There was no milk. There was no cream. There was no butter. None of that shit. But when he came and
colonized the lands, he brought all of
these things with him. Because when you
come to colonize, you bring three things. You bring your culture,
you bring your religion, and you bring your food. So he brought all of that. And the cows ate the native– the indigenous people out
of their house and home. Ate all of that stuff. And they were put
on the reservations. And then they were forced–
that food was forced onto them. And when you look– I spoke in Mexico a
couple of times last year and the year before. And the Mayan people,
they took me in and they taught me how
to make corn tortillas, the original corn tortillas. And they told me about
the history of their food. And they were like, when
you look at original tacos, there’s no meat in
it, even the ones that they try to claim
as original tacos. They just have meat and
cilantro on the top of it. But before then, there
was no meat on there because we didn’t have any meat. We didn’t even have cows,
pigs, or chickens here. So all we used were
potatoes and peppers. And we put a little
bit of insects on there from time to time for protein
and some crunch or whatever. I was like, OK. But that’s what it was. That’s just what it was. That’s what they ate back then. And then today, you see
what’s going on and how much– you look at Mexican cuisine
and they got cheese and queso and tres leche and
all that stuff. But where– none of that was
part of it before colonization. And then you look at Mexico
and you look at bullfighting. There were no bulls
here before the Spanish came to the Americas. So all of this is colonization. And it’s perpetuated,
and it’s still here today in 2018, full effect. And it’s doing its thing. And you look now, and you
see that all the communities of color are the number one
people dying of heart disease, stroke, diabetes,
so on and so forth. So this is just chemical
warfare playing out in food. In the black
culture, soul food’s been killing black
folks since they came. So I’m going to tell y’all
where soul food came from. And it’s like, soul food
is essentially slave food. It was given to us
by the slave masters. The pigs’ feet, the ear, the
chitlins, where they’re really called the “shitlings.” That’s what they– “shitlings.” That’s the intestine. You have to clean the
shit out and then boil it. The whole house smells like ass. It’s not good. And so this is just what it is. The feet, and you pickle it. And the reason why we
got these from the pig and from the cow, the
leftovers, they didn’t want it. That’s all we had to eat. We were forced to eat it. It took them 10 years to get
them to force us to eat this. And we created– we took it,
the leftovers, all that we had, and we made it beauti–
we made it into something that we could tolerate. Because nobody wanted to eat it. So we had to change
it and morph it, and we cooked it and deep fried
it in oil and butter and sugar and added all that stuff
to sweeten it and make it taste better than what it was. And that’s how we came
up with soul food. But then soul food
is not good for you. It’s killing people. And this is in addition
to why people of color– black people are– more people are dying from
heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and all of these things. We got the leftovers, and
everything was unappetizing. And so now, you see, like back
in the day, it was slavery. We were the number one people–
we were out there working 17-hour days, eating one meal. Get back up there, go pick
a whole 100 bags of cotton. And then go to sleep on
the floor, get back up and do it again. Working hard, right? But now it’s 2018, a
couple hundred years later. We’re the number one people
dying of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. When nobody paid nothing
for us because it’s like, we’re going to die at, like,
50, 60 years old, because of the foods that
we’ve been eating and the food system
that we are in today. So this is what I
telling you about. Lactose intolerance, 75%
of the world’s population is lactose intolerant
because 75% of the world are people of color. And then, we got this. [LAUGHTER] McDonald’s, they love the kids. They’re trying to sell
you this meal that was, like, it’s all great and
that’s all fine and dandy. But do you want your children
to eat all of this stuff? Eating McDonald’s food? You seen that stuff. You seen these videos
about McDonald’s and how you leave it– if somebody left
a hamburger under their car for 14 years and they found
it, and they, oh, man, it still looks the same. And this is real. They put them in–
and it looks the same. It doesn’t spoil
because it’s not food. And this is what we’re
feeding our kids. McDonald’s French fries have
11 different cancer-causing ingredients in them alone. And this is what we’re
feeding our children. And this is what–
because that’s all that’s available to us. And what I’m saying,
though, is like– what the groceries–
oh, so what I’m saying with grocery stores
and stuff like that, and where are you guys
come in is like this. It’s like we’re not– you’re not racist. But let me tell y’all this. If I beat somebody
up and you sit there and you watch it happen
and you don’t say shit, then you’re complicit. You are part of this crime. If I killed somebody
and you sit there and you don’t say
anything, you’re complicit. You’re a part of this crime. If you are shopping in
these grocery stores and you know that you’re
getting special treatment in your grocery store in your
community where you live, and how the food
system was started, and this community over here,
not far down the street, four or five miles away from
you doesn’t have any food, but I’m going to go over
here to my grocery store right next to my house, you’re
complicit to this system of racism. That’s what it
is, let’s be real. This systemic racism that’s
still active today in 2018. You’re contributing. And that’s just what it is. Just being real with y’all. So moving forward. That was kind of deep. We’re moving forward. You know, people ask me all
the time, what do you eat? What do you eat? Where do you get
your protein from? I’m like, well, a
cow is 2,000 pounds. They don’t eat any meat. They’re fine. Gorillas don’t eat meat. They can bench press a car. Elephants are like
6,000 pounds or I don’t know how big they get. They don’t eat any meat. So I just get my meat
from the same place– or my protein the same place
they get their protein from. I’m cool, right? So like, the vegan hamburgers
and this, that, and the other. And that’s my
presentation for the day. And I really want to thank
you all for listening to me and I hope you enjoyed it. [APPLAUSE] PRESENTER 1: So anyone who
needs to take off and make a 1 o’clock class can do so now. But we’ve got the room till 1:30
and we can take some questions for as long as you have them. Thank you. DAVID CARTER: All right, cool. AUDIENCE: So you said that
shopping at the stores is complicit. What do you think the solutions
are to getting the grocery stores where they need to be? DAVID CARTER: Well,
grocery stores– let me tell y’all a little
about grocery stores. I did a project with
Ralphs grocery stores and Kroger and them for a while. And you can see how the
food is on a tier system, as well, in their organization. You have the Ralphs Fresh Fare,
which is like a Whole Foods. You have Ralphs, and
then you have the Kroger. It’s a tier system. And then you have the Food For
Less, which is in the hoods, and they don’t have any
fresh fruits and vegetables. They just have
whatever’s left over. I was talking to my mom
about it the other day. There are like flies and
stuff flying around the fruit. Or you go to the bodegas. And there’ll be the leftovers
from the grocery store, and literally, on a shoe rack
is the fruit and vegetable section. And I took the slide out. I don’t know why I did. But I went and took pictures
of Baltimore of all the fruit. And it was literally a
shoe rack or an old freezer that they was like,
oh, we’re going to put the fruit in there. These grocery stores, they
use the tier system, as well, to distribute their food
throughout the country. Because they’re
like, well, we’re going to sell the
healthy, fresh food here. And then, once the food
starts to deteriorate, we’re going to sell it
in these communities. But what we need to
do is to avoid that– and like you were saying,
complicit– is education. We need to educate each other. Because the thing is, it’s not–
like I said, y’all not racist. But you are not aware
of what’s going on. You are also a victim
of this system, because you are being forced
to participate because it’s what is available, right? So that’s why I’m
saying it’s complicit. We need to educate each other. Everybody needs
to be aware of it. And we need to take action
steps to resolve it. Because it’s still
unconstitutional, still to this day. And we’re in Harvard. Y’all can help change this. Y’all are law students. Y’all can help to change this. And that’s what it is. That’s what it is. So yeah. I hope that answers
your question. Next question? [INTERPOSING VOICES] AUDIENCE: So it’s
not a question. It’s more of a request
for you to speak to, as someone who is
practicing since birth. But also the impact that it has
on the environment, fashion, leather. You know, this goes beyond our
own nutrition and food, too. But the ethical end of
veganism, and just the things we do everyday
without thinking– a wallet, a belt, our shoes,
our coat– the down feathers in our coats. DAVID CARTER: Exactly. AUDIENCE: Maybe you want
to speak about that. I thought that’d be
great to talk about. DAVID CARTER: Yeah. My boy, shout out
Brave Gentleman That’s actually the name of
his brand, Brave GentleMan. And he does vegan leathers and
plant-based leathers and things like that, vegan suits. That’s what I wore– anyways. And he’s fly. But I did some research and
looked back on the history of leather in America. And a lot of the leather– a lot of the shoes, they still
have exhibits with them today. The leather that they were
using were– they were like, the best leather is the
leather of a black– black skin leather. And they make shoes. Their skin lasts forever. It’s just like
the Holocaust, how they were making books out
of the skins of the Jews, and they’re making
lampshades, and all of these things like that. That’s what they
did here in America. They would chop the hands of the
people that they were lynching, chop them. They would put them up in
the windows for display. And they were making leather
shoes and leather belts out of the skins of the
slaves, because they said that was the best
leather that was available. And they just
can’t do it anymore because, you know, what
would that look like? You know? And so yeah. So it gets– it’s really deep,
what you’re talking about. And how you can go into how
the animals are treated. They’re enslaved. It’s a system. We’re going to kill them. There’s things when
these animals– watching these videos– I’m a vegan. You’re watching these
videos, and the cows are in the line to get killed. And they go into the thing– the door shuts down. Bow. And then the cow that’s
behind him is flipping out. They’re in this tunnel where
they can’t move to the left or to the right. And the cow’s trying
to back up, and crying and trying to back up. And it’s like, man,
this animal knows what’s about to happen to them. And these are sentient beings. They have feelings. They have family dynamics. They understand what’s going on. They cry when their
family member dies. Have you guys seen that movie– what’s the movie? Help me out. AUDIENCE: Okja. DAVID CARTER: Okja. Right. That’s what it is. That’s real. When we have animals–
we have dogs and cats. When you hit them,
they feel pain. And some of these doctors or
these scientists, they say, oh, animals don’t feel pain. How do you know? How do you know? You talking to them? Clearly not. You don’t speak the same–
you don’t speak bark. What’s going on? All right. Next question. Is that it? Let’s go, bro. AUDIENCE: I have
a crazy question. So I’m an entomologist. I study bugs and plants. And one thing that we’re
starting to promote is insects as a viable
source of protein. I know you mentioned that
with the traditional tacos. What do you think about that? Have you heard that? Have you tried a bug burger? [LAUGHTER] DAVID CARTER: I’ve heard of it. [LAUGHTER] It’s not exactly
something that I do. I stick to the plants
and I’m good, you know? Yeah. I was never a fan of them. My grandpa was trying to get–
he’d take me, drive across– there’s a tequila
with a worm in it. You want the worm? Mmm, no, I’m good, grandpa. I’m straight. But it’s been, since
forever, a long time, bugs have been a viable source
of protein, not just within humans, but
animals, as well. So I mean, yeah. I mean, hey, yeah. It is what it is. [LAUGHTER] Not my thing. But yeah. Any more questions? No more question? Oh, you got the mic. AUDIENCE: We’re
recording, so if you could wait for till the mic
gets to you, that’d be great. AUDIENCE: Sorry. Who has it? AUDIENCE: Hi. This is more of a
personal question. Wondering if you were able to
influence any family or friends since you’ve gone vegan. Have you been able to
change your family’s mind? If they’re not vegan,
maybe just have they reduced the amount of
animals they’ve eaten? DAVID CARTER: My mom
did, who’s right there. [APPLAUSE] Thanks for coming out, Mom. [LAUGHTER] My mom did. Go ahead. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] DAVID CARTER: It’s a journey. It’s a journey for everybody. It doesn’t matter who it is. It’s a journey. It’s not going to be,
I did it in one day. It takes time. But anyways, you have to
be– that’s the thing. You have to meet
people where they are. Because if you try to force it
down their throat– go vegan!– you ain’t going to get nowhere. They’re going to be like,
that crazy vegan person. I don’t want nothing
to do with them. [LAUGHTER] That’s how it goes. But for me, what I
do is I just lead– I just, you know,
I’m an example. I drop these little
informational bombs on these people and be like,
yo, this is what’s going on. Erectile dysfunction,
bro, you know? [LAUGHTER] And that works. That works. So I’ve gotten a few
football players, my boy Daniel Rodriguez. He played for the Rams. But he also has
two Purple Hearts. He was in the Marines
before he went to the NFL. Got shot up and saved his whole
platoon, his whole, everybody. And they were attacked
by, like, 48– it was 48 of them and they
were attacked by 200 people. And it was like a
straight-up gun fight. He and his friend was running. They heard the gunshots
in their sleep. Got up, him and his best friend. They were asleep. They got up and his friend
ran and was right behind him. And he just hears
somebody drop behind him. It was his friend
got shot in the head. Bow. On the ground. He’s dead. But anyways, he has
two Purple Hearts. He’s vegan now and
he’s speaking on it. He’s a public speaker
and everything. And my boy Nate Chandler. He played with the Titans. He was an offensive lineman. Played with me at UCLA. He’s vegan. Call him Big Nate, Nasty Nate. And he has his whole
social media page. My brother played
for the Redskins. And this last
year, he hit me up. He was like, bro, what
are you doing, man? He said, you got the
whole offensive line, they’re vegan over here, man. I’m like, that’s the stuff. That’s the win. And then the Titans, they
have 11 players on their team that are going
plant-based and vegan. And I played with
those guys, too. So it’s growing. It’s a huge thing. It’s growing. And that’s not counting
the college players. There’s a guy on– he plays for the Jags. He’s vegan. And everybody’s hitting me up. Ah, let’s go vegan. So I’m like, yo, I got you. So a lot of people
are switching over. And because we have these guys– and this goes back to
the access to food. These guys who are playing
in the NFL and the NBA, they now have the
access to the funds. The vegan community is known
as elitist, because it is, because of what I just
showed you right now. And you have to have
money to buy healthy food. And these guys are athletes. They’re football players,
basketball players. That’s where I started
doing this food justice presentation, “Oppression
in the Food System,” because I was talking
and somebody said to me, man, that’s all fine and
dandy that you can eat healthy and you’re vegan. But you’re in the league. You got bread. You can afford it. Where do you live? I live in the hood. And I was like, you know what? You’re right. Because I’m from South Central. So I understand that. We were going to the
liquor store or the burger shop or Krispy
Kreme because that’s all we had that was over
here in the area, you know? So that’s just– yeah,
that’s what it is. I kind of got lost
on that, but yeah. AUDIENCE: And just to offer
a very mindful observation that when people of color speak
about this, because veganism is a privileged
identity, they’re often attacked on social
media and attacked publicly when they speak
about it by others, because there’s a very, very
interesting dynamic when people of color talk
about food justice and how they are viewed as
not sticking to the point, and that how it’s a myth
that there’s food inequality within these communities. And it gets very, very
vulgar and really, really disrespectful, as well. So there are more
people that are much like him that are talking
about these items, that have been doing this for, like,
30 years, 40 years, 20 years. And they work in communities and
they’re trying to do this work. But they’re largely
ignored and not chosen to speak or be
present at these facilities or these events because
there’s so much elitism and white privilege
that’s steeped into the vegan community. DAVID CARTER: Exactly. There’s Lauren Ornelas. She’s done TED
Talks and all that. She’s based out of
California, San Luis Obispo. She’s been doing
this for 30 years. Nobody wants to give
her any kind of funding. She’s funding this whole
thing out of her own pocket, trying to teach people about
healthy eating and stuff like that in these communities. But nobody wants
to give her money because she’s also
talking about farming and giving the farmers rights. There’s a Driscoll’s company,
that’s the fruit company. They wouldn’t give
the employees a $0.01 raise on each bag of
strawberries or berries that they bring up. $0.01 per bag. That’s it. That’s all they were asking for. And they wouldn’t
give them anything. But in the vegan community,
the vegan community there doesn’t even really see
food justice as a thing, as a part of it. But it is, because this is– I just told you,
these food companies– McDonald’s, Burger King,
KFC, these companies– they’re making, literally
and figuratively, making a killing off of
selling their product to these communities of color. Not to mention they’re the
number one purchasers of animal products in the world. They’re the number one purchaser
of cow eyeballs, McDonald’s. What the hell are you
making with cow eyeballs? So remember that next time
y’all order a chicken nugget. It’s not really chicken nuggets. You eating some cow eyeballs. So you have to– it’s a whole thing. It’s all connected and you
have to put the pieces together and you have to
see for yourself. We can no longer live
in this out of sight, out of mind mentality. Because that’s what
they’re playing on. You have to look
under the surface and see what’s going on. AUDIENCE: Over here. Hey. So we’ve actually had Lauren
here the year before last and she was amazing. I heard her talk. But following up on
that, I’m wondering if you could talk about
some of your own outreach to underserved communities
and some of the events you got planned this summer. DAVID CARTER: Most definitely. So I’m doing– what
am I doing, Cam? I’m doing an– AUDIENCE: You’re building out
a plant-based music festival. DAVID CARTER: Oh, yeah. So I’m building out a
plant-based music festival in partnership
with Summer Stage, and it’s in all five
boroughs and Brooklyn. We’re starting at
Central Park, and it’s– if you guys are familiar with
Dave Chappelle Block Parties. Are you guys familiar with that? So it’s like five Dave Chappelle
block parties happening in all five boroughs– Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten
Island, Queens, and– did I miss one? Harlem. Harlem. The Bronx. All right. So we’re doing all
of that, and it’s going to be a block party
in all five boroughs. And we’re having– last
year, we had performances from Erykah Badu, Anderson Paak,
Talib Kweli, Mos Def, who’s now Yasiin Bey. And was that it? Is that all? AUDIENCE: The main ones. DAVID CARTER: Yeah. Those are the main ones. And then this year,
we have a long list of a lot of younger artists
and more relevant artists that are going to be
out there performing. Like I said, we’re
partnering with Summer Stage. And then we’re also
bringing it next year to Los Angeles in
partnership with– can I say that? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] DAVID CARTER: Yeah. Potentially with the LA Times. We’re in conversation. So it’s really growing. It’s growing big. And not to mention I’m
doing a documentary. I just signed a full
feature documentary deal with Uninterrupted, which is
LeBron James’s documentary company. And we’re going to be
doing it on oppression in the food system. And we’ll also be doing
a series of shorts, interviewing athletes like Kyrie
Irving and Jaylen Brown, Venus and Serena Williams,
Nate and Nick Diaz– these guys, talking
about their transition to plant-based eating
and plant-based life. AUDIENCE: He’ll also be
speaking at NYU on veganism. DAVID CARTER: And I’ll
be speaking at NYU. [LAUGHTER] Yeah. So it’s a lot
going on right now. And we’ll be partnering
with Lighter Organization for food distribution. And we’ll be also doing– to eliminate recidivism,
we’ll be getting food into the communities,
fresh fruits and vegetables in the communities. So yeah. We’re doing a lot. Doing a lot. And we’re really trying
to make an imprint and make a change in the world. We’re trying to change
the status quo in food in our communities. So that’s what we’re doing. Thank you. AUDIENCE: What about getting
healthy food into prisons? DAVID CARTER: That’s
another thing. I’m working on that, too. Yeah. Yeah, I’m working on that, too. But I just started. But what they’re doing for that,
though, is that they’ll be– they got all that
Desert Storm food. They’re making the
prisoners wear pink. And they’re giving them GMO soy. They’re like, oh, we’re
giving them– we’re vegan now, but they’re giving them
genetically modified soy products and all these
processed products. And it’s really
not doing anything. There was a story that
somebody was telling me. One of their friends
came back from prison. And when he left prison, his
breasts were super tender. And it was because he
was eating all the soy products that they were giving
him because it’s GMO soy. GMO soy is different
than organic soy. Organic soy is actually better
for you and it’s phytoestrogen, which actually dumps
out the excess estrogen that you have in your body. It’s not bad for you. But the GMO soy is
really bad for you, and it does crazy
things to your hormones and makes men lactate and
all kind of stuff like that. Yeah. I mean, I’m just– that’s just what it is. That’s the prison food. AUDIENCE: How quickly did
you notice the benefits in your recovery time– DAVID CARTER: Immediately. AUDIENCE: –once
you switched over? DAVID CARTER: Immediately. I told you, when I
lost the 40 pounds. And then I put the
weight back on. I was 295 and I was
running seven-minute miles. I’d get off, wouldn’t
even bend over. I’d be like, phew. All right. Get back on and run
another seven-minute mile. And then my trainer
at the time– we were in Dallas, Texas. That’s where I went vegan. Dallas, Texas. Barbecue haven, right? And he was like, yo, so– after
he saw me bench press 465– he was like, hey, so I’m vegan
now and all of my clients are vegan. I’m like, oh, great. And so it was dope. AUDIENCE: After you
made the switch, did the NFL start accommodating
you by providing vegan options, or was it still just chicken? DAVID CARTER: Some teams did. I’m not going to
tell that story. [LAUGHTER] But yeah. A lot of– some teams were. The teams are
starting to switch. Some teams had a– they were
against it and they were– one coach, I’m not going
to say what team it was. They were like, yo– they were like– they didn’t
know that I was a vegan. And the only people who
knew were the players, because I didn’t want to
cause a whole bunch of ruckus. And I asked the team
chef, I was like, can you just make me some
brown rice and some beans, or peanut butter
and jelly sandwich? Or something simple on the side
so I can have something to eat? And she was like, all
right, cool, cool, cool. I come back the next day. Everything– vegan,
vegan, vegan. This has this much protein
and this has this much. Oh, I made you a lasagna on
the side, a vegan lasagna. I’m like, this is dope. [LAUGHTER] This is dope, right? So I’m like, this is great. And so the team, the players,
they were cool with it. They were like,
oh, this is good. I’m eating healthier. The players actually started
coming to me for health and nutrition advice. This is the players. These are NFL players. They’re like, man,
the trainer told me I need to lose 10 pounds. How do I do it? I want to keep muscle on. I still want to eat good,
but I want to get healthier. And my back is hurting. I want to lose some weight or
help get the inflammation out of their system. How do I do it? So they would come to
me for help and advice. And I’d be like,
yeah, yeah, yeah. I got you, bro. Just like I’m dropping jewels
on y’all right now, like, yeah, I got you. Easy. And then one day I come
into the trainer’s room– I mean into the dining hall,
where all the players are. And I hear a bunch of– ahhhh. And then the
nutritionist is in there. She’s handing out these
ready-made meals that they give out to the players. Because players are like,
I’m tired, I’m hungry. I don’t want to cook anything. I’m going to just heat
this up real quick. And they’re handing
out all of these meals. They got chicken and stuff. And the players
are like, nah, nah. My boy David said
that’s not good. [LAUGHTER] My boy David said
that’s not good. So they’re sitting there,
and she’s debating with them. They’re like, soy
milk is bad for you. They’re like, no, but
we drink almond milk. My boy David says drink almond
or cashew milk or something like that, hemp milk. There’s all these options. And then I walk in there and
they’re talking about it. And they go, there
goes David right there. Oh, there goes
David right there. Hey, get her. Get her. Get on her. And I’m like, oh, shit. What did I get myself into? And the trainer– and
she’s trying to debate me. And I’m like, yeah, what’s up? She goes, yeah, you drink
almond milk and soy– you know, these milk brands? She’s like, that’s unhealthy for
you because they have carra– carra– and I was
like, carrageenan? [LAUGHTER] And she goes, yeah, that. It’s unhealthy for you. I said, actually, there’s
two types of carrageenan. One is made out of– and I broke it down. There’s two types
of carrageenan. One is made out of seed
kelp or whatever like that. And that’s actually
healthier for you. And that’s the carrageenan
that they’re using now. But I don’t drink the ones
with carrageenan in it. There’s different kinds that
don’t have carrageenan in it. And that’s the
brands that I choose. And then she was just like–
and they were just like, oh! How are you the nutritionist
and you don’t know shit? Oh! And I was just like– and
I’m sitting there like, damn. OK. So I go and I leave. And then the next
day, the weight coach calls me into the office. And it’s the weight coach and
all the other weight coaches. And they’re sitting there. I’m big as hell. I’m like 305 at the time. And I’m sitting there
like, just walk in. I get in the room. I sit down. And they’re like, so
you’re a vegan, huh? And I’m like, yeah, is that– yeah, I’m vegan. They’re like, where do
you get your protein from? This is the weight coach. And I’m like– [LAUGHS]
I laugh in his face. He go, why you laughing? I’m like, bro, you
the weight coach. You don’t know where
protein comes from? [LAUGHTER] And they were like– I was like look, bro. Protein– I was like, I
get my same– my protein from the same place that
cows, elephants, gorillas, they get their protein from. Protein comes from– it’s
formed in amino acids through photosynthesis
and chlorophyll. And that’s where amino
acids are stored. And that’s where they
get their protein from, so that’s where I
get my protein from. And then they were
just dumbfounded. And I’m just sitting there. I’m like, all right. I’m going to go lift
weights now, y’all. We all cool? We all straight? I’m like, all right. Cool. The next day, the same
dude comes up to me. He goes, hey, the head coach
wants you in his office. And I’m new on the team. And they’re like–
and I’m like, shit. OK. Well, the head coach
wants me in his office. That means either I’m getting
promoted or I’m getting fired. So the head coach brings
me into the office. And I’m like, all right. What’s going on? I’m like, how are
you doing, Coach? What’s going on? What do you need? He goes, you know, have a seat. He was like, so I hear
that you’re vegan. And I’m like, yeah. And he was like,
we had two players and, you know, they were
trying to be vegan last year. And it didn’t quite
work out for them. And I was like, well, I’m
not changing any time soon. I’m vegan. This is just what it is. I’m vegan. This is a lifestyle for me. I’m going to live like this
for the rest of my life. I feel good. I’m healthy. You sure you don’t want
to consider changing that? Nah. I’m good, bro. Thanks. And then, like, all right. And then I was like, shit,
I’m probably going to get– probably going to
be like, all right. I’m going to see
what this comes. The next week, I
come– that was Friday. I come back on Monday. And then I go into
the training room– the dining hall area. Nothing. No vegan food. The mashed potatoes
got cheese in it. Broccoli has bacon
and cheese on it. The rice had pork and chicken
and all kinds of stuff in it. And there was no vegan food. I went to the chef
and I asked the chef. I’m like, yo, what’s going on? Where’d everything go? She was like, this
came from the top down. And I was like, oh. I’m like, I’m going to go see if
my name is still on my locker. Because when your name
is not on your locker, that means they cut you. So not too long after
that, they cut me because– I wasn’t trying to
make any changes. I wasn’t even saying anything. I didn’t say nothing. I asked for brown
rice and beans, and they changed the
entire dining hall because everybody else was
trying to eat healthier. The players were trying
to eat healthier. That team had the
most injuries ever. After I left,
after they changed, players were slipping
disks in their backs, dislocating all kind
of things like that. And they had the worst season
that they have ever had and they already sucked. So I was like,
hey, that’s karma. It is what it is. So yeah. AUDIENCE: Yeah. I had one last question. I know I asked one earlier. I’m a debate coach for
the Harvard debate team. And we spend a lot of
time at tournaments with different topics where
these kinds of issues come up. And one of the problems that
we run into– and this kind of touches on what you were
talking about earlier– is that the black
debaters in the community really resent a lot
of the arguments, especially if you try to make
any of the kinds of analogies that you do to slavery. They view that as
demeaning slavery. DAVID CARTER: Who’s
making the comments? AUDIENCE: Pardon? Well, white debaters. And so I want to know
what your advice is– you obviously have some
credibility, I think, in giving your message
to communities– diverse communities, and
communities of color– that white advocates
don’t necessarily have. Are there any types of
arguments or strategies that you think that somebody
who is a vegan, or advocating for more solutions to
the food desert problem, can have to gain credibility
with a black audience that might not be receptive
to the message coming from a white person? DAVID CARTER: I think
that– honestly, I think white people need to leave
it alone and sort of back away. And a perfect example is
The Dreaded Comparison, and how that book
really rubbed everybody in the community of
color the wrong way, because she was comparing
animal slavery to human slavery. And it’s from a
white point of view. AUDIENCE: You’re right. DAVID CARTER: And it’s from
the white point of view. And it’s like, you don’t have– you can’t come from that. You have no experience in there. You don’t understand. So you’re saying
things and you’re just talking out your ass. That’s what it
sounds like to us. That’s why we’re like, be quiet. You have no experience. There was a guy– he was some rich
billionaire guy. He was a Jewish guy. He was like, I came over here– we were Jews. We were gassed, this,
that, and the other. I said, America came over and
saved y’all, brought y’all over here. Y’all are fine. You’re a white guy. You can make all kinds
of money and be fine and no one is going to
look at you different. You don’t have to
worry about it. They think you’re a white guy. You’re a white guy. And I was like, you’ve
never experienced slavery– not slavery– oppression or
racism in your life. He was like, I have
experienced it. I’m Jewish. I was like, no you haven’t, bro. I said, you’re not black. They just think you’re white. You’re not brown. They just think
you’re a white guy. I said, you saying that
you’ve experienced racism or you know what
racism feels like, or you can have any kind
of relation to racism, it’s like me saying
I know what it feels like to push a baby out. I don’t. I will never push a baby out. It’s not going to happen. It’s impossible. You can’t experience
what racism feels like or know anything really
about it, because you don’t have a firsthand experience. So you need to
leave that to people who have firsthand experience. That’s why people get
upset because people are gracing the stage and
talking about something that they don’t have
any experience with. They can’t speak on it. That’s just what it is. AUDIENCE: I know
that the best time to teach someone
healthier habits and all that is from childhood. And I know that you’ve
been going into the schools and talking to children
about their eating habits. How receptive are the– how much progress have
you made in schools? DAVID CARTER: Oh, it’s been
amazing, because people don’t really know this history. It’s been hidden from us. And they really don’t want
to talk about it because it’s going to mess up their bottom
dollar, their bottom line, you know? McDonald’s doesn’t
want people to know that they’re making
85% of their net profit from marketing to
communities of color. How racist does
that look, right? Because it is. So when you see this
and you’re seeing how they’re attacking
your community with things that you can see
with your own two eyes, the brick and mortars– I call it the hardware
that’s in place. The hardware is the brick and
mortars in the communities, and they’re set up. And then you have all of that. But what’s happening is– I’m saying we’re
updating the software. The software in this
age of information is updating faster than the
hardware can ever be updated. So now, these signs
of racism that are– they’re right there. You can see them with your
own two eyes, like I said. You can’t get rid of them. So this message
resonates easily. Because you hear the information
and just like all of y’all are going to hop in your car,
and you might drive by a hood or something, and
you’re going to see– you’re going to be like, damn,
that’s what he was talking about. So the message, it grows. It’s resonating. It’s taking off on its own. AUDIENCE: Are they receptive
to the change in diet foods? DAVID CARTER: Yeah,
most definitely. They’re like, yeah, I
want to eat healthier. How do I do it? That’s how that one person
was like, I stand up. I stood up. They were like, how do I do it? We don’t have it in
these communities. How can we get
these things going? How can we get started? How do we start urban farms? So that’s what we’re doing. We’re starting urban
farms and doing all of these things like that,
and getting them activated. That’s another thing we’re
doing with the festival. We have cooking demos
and we’re teaching– people need more information
on how to do things. So we’re having cooking
demos and bringing chefs to show how to cook meals
in 15 minutes for under $15, and doing things like that. And so when we do– when we are
able to get these fresh fruits and vegetables in
their hands, then they know what to do with them. So yeah. PRESENTER 2: All right, y’all. We are losing the room
at 1:30, but David, if you could stick around
maybe a few minutes. If anybody has any other
lingering questions, we could meet out
in the hallway. So thank you all again
so much for coming out. Again, we’ll be back in
this room tomorrow at noon with our last event
of Animal Law Week. There are sign-up
sheets going around for anybody who would like to
be notified of our other events. And if you could all
thank me one more time for David coming out. [APPLAUSE] DAVID CARTER: Thank you.

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